You may have already seen Australia’s King Parrot as support on a tour with Clutch, Souflly, Down or Weedeater. Whether or not you can handle their brash sense of humor makes little difference to these five purveyors of frenetic punk and metal. At present, the band consists of vocalist Matthew “Youngy” Young, guitarist Ari “;Mr. White” White, guitarist Andrew “Squiz” Livingstone-Squires, bassist Matthew “Slatts” Slattery and drummer Todd “Toddy” Hansen. And while you’re less likely to call them any of the aliases when meeting them for the first time (do meet them all as they’re super nice blokes), their music is what really matters. They’re currently holding down a support slot for Voivod with Child Bite opening all dates. Also catch them on their rare one-off dates without headliner. Metal Insider caught up with Youngy to find out if he really washes his clothes and, more importantly, if they’ll be breaking up as bassist Slatts joins the comedy circuit.
How much does it really cost for a band your size to get over here?
It costs quite a lot as you could imagine, but we have set up a good system for ourselves and have our own backline here which helps a lot. It all depends on the tour where we need to fly into and how long the tour goes for. You could safely say it costs in excess of $20k every time we come over.
Did you break even on any tours?
Also depends on the tour, but the further we are coming along as a band and getting more established the better the conditions have become for us. We still have a way to go in getting as established in the U.S. and Canada as say we are back home in Australia, but we are a hard working band and committed to the cause.
Dead Set reached #21 in the Australian charts upon release in 2015. Congratulations! Was that a shock?
It’s only our second album, so I think we were really happy to achieve something like that. When our first record came out, it was independent and not really pushed by a label. This time we had full label support and were able to make more of an impact. We also got nominated for an ARIA award which is the equivalent of a Grammy, so that was nice too. Kinda strange for a band of our style, but we’ll take it.
Does the Australian government subsidize even bands like King Parrot? Are all expenses handled? What do they want in return?
There are some grants and things like that available for bands, and we have been lucky enough to receive some help in regards to a couple of our tours. You have to apply and make a good case to get any funding and its not always guaranteed.
Are you sharing gear with Child Bite or Voivod to save money on the upcoming tour?
We have all our own gear so everything we have comes with us, and we will probably help out with some gear sharing just to make it nice and easy for everyone.
How many copies have you sold of The Stench Of Hardcore Pub Trash to date?
That was our very first EP so I think we only ever pressed 500 of those. When our debut album Bite Your Head Off was released internationally, that EP was added to album and is now part of the album worldwide.
Your videos (especially “Shit On The Liver”) are the best. Who is your director and who writes those amazing scripts?
Our director’s name is Dan Farmer and he is a really talented film maker from Australia. We have a great team we work with to make those videos and its a real collaboration in terms of everyone getting involved and making the best of it. Its a great opportunity for us to be creative outside of the music and its something I really enjoyed.
Did your guitarist really get peed on during the video?
Everyone gets peed on. Its only fair.
Are you on Phil Anselmo’s side or did you take a step back when he made the racist comments in January 2016?
What he said was really stupid and obviously a huge mistake. There is no place for racism in any part of society. Phil was clearly intoxicated when it happened, and he has now apologized which was entirely necessary. I know Phil personally and I know he is not a racist person. He made a big mistake, and he owned it and apologized. From what I hear, he is sober now and I think that is a really good thing for him.
Why the name King Parrot?
A parrot in Australia slang is an annoying person, so we have gone with the name because we think it suits the stage persona of the band to a degree. The most annoying assholes! Ha!
Are you going to bring any special stage production?
My ass and Slatts’ gut is all we need.
Do you actually wash your clothes on tour?
We try avoid washing, I generally have a shower on stage most nights by pouring as many bottles of water on my head as possible. This also keeps my shorts clean.
Which country has been most receptive to your latest?
Australia has been really (receptive). We are still a pretty new band in most other countries, but they are warming to us, and we are hoping to start spending more time in Europe. Our tour their earlier this year with Soulfly was awesome!
What are your long-term goals for the band?
We just want to keep creating quality music and improving all the time in every facet of the band. We love to tour and stay busy, its great lifestyle and we enjoy it very much. We’re really lucky and grateful for all the opportunities we have been given thus far.
Has bassist Wayne “Slatts” Slattery thought about doing stand-up on your off nights?
He hasn’t but we have recommended that he give it a try at some point. I think he would be really good at it.
I loved Damaged, BTW. Your ex-drummer Matt Skitz played some crazy drum beats on Token Remedies Research. Will they ever play again?
No, I don’t think they will ever play again. They were a legendary Australian band that I was lucky enough to see live a number of times. It’s a shame because they were one of a kind.